Developed by Dr. Arthur Agatston, The South Beach Diet touts itself as teaching dieters to eat the right carbs and the right fats. The diet has three phases. In the first dieter’s banish their bad carb cravings and induce rapid weight loss. In the second phase, some types of carbs are reintroduced and weight loss is slower. The final phase is the “Diet for Life” phase. This is the maintenance diet and will be followed for the rest of the dieter’s life. If at any time the dieter begins to gain unwanted pounds, then he simply goes through the induction and pre-maintenance phases again.
The first phase emphasizes protein from high-quality meat sources with lots of fresh vegetables and salads with real olive oil dressing. Bread, rice, pastas, potatoes, baked goods, soy milk and cheese, yogurt, beets, carrots, corn, and all fruit are forbidden in the 14-day induction phase. This includes all candy, cake, ice cream, and sugar, plus meats that are cured in sugar or molasses.
The diet encourages three meals a day with a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon snack. There is also a daily meal plan. This plan includes strict portion control in the induction phase. An example of a daily snack is 20 peanuts. And 30 pistachios is another snack option.
Unlike Atkins, unlimited protein consumption is not advised or allowed on this diet. However, during the later phases of the diet, some of the strict portion control does end and dieters are able to eat until satiated.
Some of the forbidden foods can be slowly reintroduced, sometimes in modified form in the second phase of the diet. The second phase lasts until the dieter’s goal weight is reached. However, white flour products, potatoes, corn, carrots, beets, and sweet fruits like banana and pineapple are still forbidden.
After dieters reach their ideal weight, they proceed on to their Diet for Life or maintenance diet.
In this phase, the forbidden foods are processed foods, white flour products, sweet fruits, and foods with a high glycemic index in general.
During the 14-day induction period, Dr. Agatston predicts a weight loss of between eight and 13 pounds, with belly fat being the first to go. In the second phase, dieter should continue to lose 1-2 pounds each week as long as they do not go overboard with the carb reintroduction.